Local activists and demonstrators have taken to the streets of Washington, DC, to demand nationwide police reform and protest cops’ recent killings and shootings of unarmed Black individuals, including the recent attack which threatened the life of a Black man in Wisconsin.
Though demonstrations have regularly occurred in the US capital since the May 25 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Monday’s protests appeared revitalized following the shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old unarmed Black man who was shot in the back seven times by police officers in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Sunday.
Blake, who was shot in front of his sons – ages 3, 5 and 8 – is now in stable condition after being taken to a hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, according to a news release issued by the Department of Justice.
“These kids, these babies, are gonna have psychological issues for the rest of their entire life,” Blake family attorney Benjamin Crump said in a statement, as reported by CBS News. One of the boys was reportedly celebrating a birthday.
This man is friend’s with #JacobBlake and he said Blake had just left his house before the shooting, he also tells me it was Blake’s sons birthday, and his son was in the car with him.
— Chernéy Amhara (@CherneyAmharaTV) August 24, 2020
Crump is also representing the families of Floyd, 26-year-old no-knock warrant shooting victim Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, who was fatally shot by a father-son duo in Glynn County, Georgia.
Graphic video of the shooting of Blake incensed viewers on social media to act, prompting a number of peaceful demonstrations in major cities across the nation, including Washington, DC.
About 700 protesters, a combination of the Jacob Blake protest and the Marsha Johnson birthday protest, are marching out of the west side of Washington Square Park. About three hundred are staying behind as speeches continue. pic.twitter.com/Mqr7SEG140
— NYC Protest Updates 2020 (@protest_nyc) August 25, 2020
Early demonstrations were interrupted by a car that crashed around the Columbia Heights area. Witnesses at the scene noted that “protester medics” were the first to attend to those injured from the crash, which was unrelated to the area protests.
Again, protester medics were first to arrive to car crash scene for aid.
Man carried out on stretcher. Worth reminding that 15 medics were among 41 kettled & arrested 11days ago and aided a man having a seizure in the kettle. This is what they do #WeKeepUsSafe #DCProtests pic.twitter.com/8CRsvpa9q0
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) August 24, 2020
While the recent protests in DC have been attributed to the Black Lives Matter organization, April Goggans of the Washington, DC, chapter of Black Lives Matter explained to local outlet WTOP that aside from an organized caravan and vigil, most demonstrations have been put on by organizers and demonstrators operating on their own as part of the widespread Black Lives Matter movement.
“So, I think we should also be clear that our chapter hasn’t had protests. What you’re seeing are new groups and individuals who are calling for protests,” she told WTOP’s Nick Iannelli in a recent interview.